Systems Thinkers

Ramage, Magnus and Shipp, Karen (2009). Systems Thinkers. London: Open University/Springer-Verlag.




Systems Thinkers presents a biographical history of the field of systems thinking, by examining the life and work of thirty of its major thinkers. It discusses each thinker's key contributions, the way this contribution was expressed in practice and the relationship between their life and ideas. This discussion is supported by an extract from the thinker's own writing, to give a flavour of their work and to give readers a sense of which thinkers are most relevant to their own interests.

Systems thinking is necessarily interdisciplinary, so that the thinkers selected come from a wide range of areas - biology, management, physiology, anthropology, chemistry, public policy, sociology and environmental studies among others. Some are core innovators in systems ideas; some have been primarily practitioners who also advanced and popularised systems ideas; others are well-known figures who drew heavily upon systems thinking although it was not their primary discipline. A significant aim of the book is to broaden and deepen the reader's interest in systems writers, providing an appetising "taster" for each of the 30 thinkers, so that the reader is encouraged to go on to study the published works of the thinkers themselves.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 16948
  • Item Type
  • Book
  • ISBN
  • 1-84882-524-2, 978-1-84882-524-6
  • Extra Information
  • Contents:

    Introduction (FULL TEXT ATTACHED)

    Early Cybernetics

    Chapter 1: Gregory Bateson

    Chapter 2: Norbert Wiener

    Chapter 3: Warren McCulloch

    Chapter 4: Margaret Mead

    Chapter 5: Ross Ashby

    General Systems Theory

    Chapter 6: Ludwig von Bertalanffy

    Chapter 7: Kenneth Boulding

    Chapter 8: Geoffrey Vickers

    Chapter 9: Howard Odum

    System Dynamics

    Chapter 10: Jay Forrester

    Chapter 11: Donella Meadows

    Chapter 12: Peter Senge

    Soft and Critical Systems

    Chapter 13: C. West Churchman

    Chapter 14: Russell Ackoff

    Chapter 15: Peter Checkland

    Chapter 16: Werner Ulrich

    Chapter 17: Michael Jackson

    Later Cybernetics

    Chapter 18: Heinz von Foerster

    Chapter 19: Stafford Beer

    Chapter 20: Humberto Maturana

    Chapter 21: Niklas Luhmann

    Chapter 22: Paul Watzlawick

    Complexity Theory

    Chapter 23: Ilya Prigogine

    Chapter 24: Stuart Kauffman

    Chapter 25: James Lovelock

    Learning Systems

    Chapter 26: Kurt Lewin

    Chapter 27: Eric Trist

    Chapter 28: Chris Argyris

    Chapter 29: Donald Schön (FULL TEXT ATTACHED)

    Chapter 30: Mary Catherine Bateson

  • Keywords
  • biographical history; systems ideas; systems thinkers
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
    Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2009 The Open University
  • Depositing User
  • Magnus Ramage